SOAR Student Profiles

Mina  Abdulkareem

Mina Abdulkareem

  • SOAR Position: Ready to SOAR Coordinator; Alumni
  • Major: Biochemistry
  • Faculty Mentor(s): Dr. Beng Ooi

Current Focus: Interactions of Melamine with Physiological Constituents

Additional Interests: I love the outdoors, sewing, and spending time with friends

Project Description

Melamine is found in many items belonging to households, schools, canteens, paints, and hospitals as well as fertilizers, and seed coatings. Food contaminated with melamine can potentially cause renal problems or formation of bladder and kidney stones since melamine-cyanuric complexes have been reported to cause renal tubule blockage. In this study, Raman microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and infrared spectroscopy were used to determine the composition of melamine-oxalate crystals formed in the presence of physiological components such as uric acid, L-cystine, urea, and creatinine. Crystals were made in water and artificial urine with melamine and oxalic acid at molar ratio of 1:10 together with a physiological component. The formation of melamine-oxalate crystals in water and artificial urine suggests that melamine oxalate can interact with physiological components to form crystals in bladder and kidney when ingested.

What are your professional aspirations?

I am pursuing a career in Dentistry. I hope to work with underserved populations such as adults with special needs.

Do you have any advice for future researchers?

Do not be afraid of new experiences! I was scared at first considering I did not have any previous research exposure. Research at MTSU has created many opportunities to engage with the scientific community and other scientists through conferences, presentations, and clubs like SOAR.

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